By Jill Fox
Police dogs spend the majority of their lives working 40-hour weeks, however, these jobs don’t come with a retirement plan. As a result, the Coral Springs Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 87 developed a fundraiser to help take care of the medical needs of these exceptional K9’s.
Once a year, the fun, family friendly event called “Cause for Paws” helps with this burden by creating a “Retired K9 Fund.” The event on Wednesday, April 10, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chili’s Bar and Grill in Coral Springs, will feature a photo booth, balloon artist, and face painting, as well as demonstrations from police dogs and their handlers.
The goal is to raise money for the medical needs of the four retired Police K-9 dogs: Issa, Mik, Bandit and Duc. In addition to a 50/50 raffle, Chili’s will donate 20 percent of their revenue for the day towards “Cause for Paws.”
“You only want they best for your dog, especially if they have done eight or nine years on the job. I think they’re entitled to that,” said Timothy Coker, Coral Springs Police Officer and K9 Handler, who is organizing this year’s event.
He said the dogs do a ton for the city. Their role in keeping officers safe is unbelievable, as well as the risks they take. Then when they retire, they don’t get any financial support.
Although there are cities that do provide benefits for their retired K9’s, Coral Springs is not one of them. Their human partners often take on the responsibility of ownership of these dogs once they retire, which includes the financial burden of veterinarian bills, among other expenses, and after years of service, their medical needs are higher than most.
The union created this event to give the K9’s the best lives possible when they retire. According to Coker, the event is unbelievably important to the K9 community, the dogs, and their families, and it means a lot that people come together to support them.
Coker, whose dog, Caesar, 7, will be the next K9 to retire, said the dogs don’t have long lives after they do so. “They put it all out there on the job. That’s the hard part.”
Those unable to make the event can still donate by visiting Coral Springs FOP.
Chili’s Bar and Grill is located at 1650 North University Drive in Coral Springs.
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.